Callaway-Corvette scores podium finish at France Luca Ludwig and Marc Sourd third in Sunday's race Callaway Competition has been faced with mixed feelings at the penultimate round of the 2009 FIA GT3 Championship at the "Paul Ricard High Tech...
Callaway-Corvette scores podium finish at France
Luca Ludwig and Marc Sourd third in Sunday's race
Callaway Competition has been faced with mixed feelings at the penultimate round of the 2009 FIA GT3 Championship at the "Paul Ricard High Tech Test Track"at Le Castellet/France. In a heavy crash in the fourth lap of the first race, the Callaway Competition-Corvette of Arnaud Peyroles (France) and Juergen von Gartzen (Germany) had been damaged heavily. Luca Ludwig and Marc Sourd brought some joy to Callaway Competition, finishing third in the Marc Sourd Racing-Corvette Z06.R GT3, serviced and maintained by Callaway Competition.
The first race on Saturday started under difficult conditions. Light rain made the track and especially the kerbs very slick. In the fourth lap, not less then eight drivers felt victim of the ice-slick kerbs and crashed heavy into the walls and Armco barriers. Also Corvette drivers Arnaud Peyroles (Callaway Competition) and Luca Pirri (Marc Sourd Racing) lost the control over their cars on the slicks kerbs. Peyroles crashed hard into the Armco barriers, but gladly the safety structure of the Corvette remained intact and the reigning FIA GT3 European champion emerged uninjured from his strongly damaged Corvette. "The heavy accident proves once again the high security standard of our Corvette", Callaway Competition-team principal Ernst Woehr said. The race was suspended and declared after the second lap, allocating only half championship points.
While the Callaway-Corvette of Peyroles/von Gartzen was not repairable on site, Callaway Competition came along to the repair the Marc Sourd Racing-Corvette of Diego Alessi/Luca Pirri. From the Callaway Competition team base in Leingarten in Germany, spare parts were brought overnight to Le Castellet, more than 1000km away. The spare parts arrived Sunday at 08.30 o'clock at the track. Until the start of the race, Callaway changed the damaged back of the Corvette Z06.R GT3 and enabled a start of Diego Alessi and Luca Pirri for the second race. "It was a great team effort to repair the car. Your mechanics did fabulous job, the rear end looks like new. Many thanks also for our friends at DKR Engineering, who helped us with certain tools", Ernst Woehr was happy with the tremendous work of his team.
After good start into the second race, Alessi was fifth, when suddenly a Porsche hit the Corvette, while trying to overtake Alessi in lap six. This caused a broken upright at Alessis car and forced the Italian to retire from the race. "We really worked very hard to get this car on the track again. It's very disappointed that a competitor then makes this mistake and takes us out the race. Alessi was clearly in front with every chance to win today's race", Woehr said.
But in the second Marc Sourd-Corvette, Luca Ludwig gave Callaway Competition something to cheer about. Luca Ludwig shared the Corvette Z06.R GT3, built and developed by Callaway Competition in Leingarten in Germany, with Frenchman Marc Sourd. In the first race, Luca had brilliant start and was already on third position, when the race was suspended and Ludwig/Sourd were classified fifth.
The second race on Sunday went even better. Marc Sourd started 17. on the grid and handed over the yellow Corvette in tenth position to Luca Ludwig. The son of touring car legend Klaus Ludwig was the quickest driver in the second half of the race, and worked his way up to second position. After an exciting fight with a Audi and Aston Martin in the last couple of laps, Ludwig finally finished third, scoring his first podium in the FIA GT3 European championship in only his second race.
"Today was my best race so far!"Luca Ludwig, who is only in his first full season of racing, was happy. "Unfortunately, a small mistake cost me the second position. The car was really good and very consistent up to the end of the race, and I had some great fights."
Also team colleague Marc Sourd praised his team colleague: "Luca is very quick and does not make any mistakes. I hope that I can drive some more races with him. It was a great joy, I'm really looking forward to Zolder now!"